I have a warm place in my heart for the grimey, gut-punching sound that cultivates drill music. From UK artists like DigDat and Headie One to the rising rappers solidifying New York as a hotbed for drill music, the growing sound is critical to the all-encompassing nature of hip-hop music. An artist that you cannot leave out when considering emerging drill rappers is Fivio Foreign.
Many of us were first exposed to the Brooklyn-native through the club anthem “Big Drip,” produced by iconic UK producer AXL Beats. The standout record from Fivio Foreign's Pain and Love EP has already racked up nearly 30 million views on YouTube, propelling his career in less than a year. To date, the “Big Drip” rapper has secured a deal with Columbia Records and even recruited Quality Control’s Quavo and Lil Baby for his “Big Drip” remix. However, contrary to what seems like an overnight success at first, Fivio Foreign has been investing in his craft for years. “We used to rap in the room with a computer, me, my cousin Nate, we were always lit.” Fivio shares with EARMILK. In a recent conversation discussing the impact “Big Drip” has had on rap culture, we dove deeper into Fivio Foreign’s discography, unveiling his thought process when creating hit records and the impact he has had on the drill music scene.
Despite the harsh intensity rooted in his lyrics, Fivio Foreign is one of the most inviting artists I’ve connected with. Amid a pandemic in a severely negatively impacted state, the rapper had some uplifting words to share when talking about how his life has altered. “My worlds are not ending. We can’t do what we used to do but let's have fun in a different way.” Fivio shares. The rising drill rapper is doing just that. His ability to create lighthearted content is reaching an all-time high during these uncertain times and is seamlessly continuing the momentum of his rising music career. He’s been making TikTok videos featuring hand sanitizers and going viral on Instagram with his “Wetty Challenge”. He is right alongside thousands of other artists doing their best to satisfy music lovers' cravings for content during the pandemic.
As I began to consider how much success the rising drill rapper has recently received, I reflected on a few of Fivio Foreign’s accomplishments that he achieved in less than a year:
- Fivio Foreign’s “Big Drip” music video drops (August 2019)
- Fivio Foreign makes a special appearance during Juice Wrld’s set at Rolling Loud New York (Oct 2019)
- Fivio Foreign performs “Big Drip” during Meek Mill’s set at Powerhouse (Oct 2019)
- Fivio Foreign and Rich the Kid release the music video for “Richer than Ever” racking up over 11 million views (Dec 2019)
- Fivio Foreign secures a collaboration with Tory Lanez for “K LO K” with a music video reaching nearly 10 million views (Jan 2020)
- Fivio Foreign drops the music video for “Wetty” reaching half a million views in 48 hours (March 2020)
When talking about his recent accomplishments as an artist, he remained humble knowing he didn't achieve all of this alone. Confidently, Fivio expresses that AXL Beats plays a critical role in his process of creating hit records. The two have taken the emerging New York music scene by storm, helping to spearhead a new sound of drill music coming from young artists like 22Gz and the late Pop Smoke (R.I.P). This sound does not necessarily align with what we were hearing as far as “New York Rap”10 years ago. Yet, Fivio wholeheartedly embraces this change. “If the world is changing, [music] is going to change with it. If the world is changing, everything is going to change with it. It’s all God's work, I'm just the messenger.”
Throughout the conversation, the Brooklyn native opened up about his journey to stardom and where he got his start. It’s typical for us on the outside to see the finished products and not doubt whether certain records deserve the acclamations they have received. Yet, I wondered if Fivio Foreign ever had a moment, like many of us do, when that doubt kicked in. In the most humbling tone, Fivio shared, “Somehow, God always made a way, you get me. It’s not that I expected it but when God blesses you with certain shit, I’m like alright, this is where I’m supposed to be.”
Having one’s music career skyrocket to success in just a few months can be a blessing but very overwhelming for any artist. Between hanging out with Lil Kim and getting the stamp of approval from Meek Mill, Fivio expresses that he tries to take things one step at a time. “I live my life day by day. I'm not a person that really plans for the future. I plan for now. Every day I try to go to the next level but I do it step by step because you never know [at the end]. We just pray for the best. [I always think about] what's going to make my situation better right now.”
Still, one of the biggest anxieties for many rappers is falling off after putting out your first project. It’s like all eyes are on the artist to do better and be bigger. This anxiety seems nonexistent for Fivio Foreign. When talking about his newest project he repeatedly stressed “ “In April, you're gonna see a movie! We’re going viral. I’m going viral every minute! FACTS!” The drill music sensation wasn’t lying. His latest mixtape 800 B.C is already generating a lot of buzz. With features from Meek Mill, Lil TJay, and other rap superstars, Fivio Foreign continues to solidify himself as a rising star in drill music.
Listen to 800 B.C here!